Mikey's Imaginary Friends
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Mikey's Imaginary Friends

Jacksonville, Florida, United States | SELF

Jacksonville, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Rock Avant-garde


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"Mikey's Imaginary Friends"

Melt down the canon, then all the standards can swim in an anarchic emission, now let all the instruments of Sgt. Pepper fire at each other while M!key conserves the bombs and smoothes it all over dropping the beat. The pervasive drum thread furnishes the music with a heartbeat, it brings the world to life with a manifestation of authenticity that holds down the fearless exploration toward the longitude of fuckin' good/real tunes. M!key inducts a dozen instruments to the palette, but intoxicates each track primarily with six strings. The instrument composition takes on a minimalist role that legibly and gently perspires an atmospheric comfort inducting a mood that haunts as if it were untouchably real like a fond memory. The delicacy of each track is juxtaposed with raw anger and nostalgic dialogue that sings from the lost direction of growing up, "The moon twirls around my head, I forgot what I used to care about, and now I'm coughing up the life I used to have." Barrels smoke from topics of the surreal pains and smiles we take on while trying to make a life in the world, no doubt. - The Vice Zine

"This Dude"

Last night the 14th at Reggie's on State street in downtown Chicago Mike Kettinger and his band performed. There was a generous crowd to witness him. He looks like a cool version of carrot top. Mike played an electric guitar and had a friend with a lap-top (all musicians best friend). He also used a Power point to show pictures that matched the themes of his songs. Kettinger's sound is.....uncoventional. Its like Mars Volta on vicodin.

Or maybe.....there is no real way to describe it except that he kind of moans alot - in a good way. Like moaning out interesting lyrics and organic melodies. Like if Bob Dylan were to become more emo and dance better. I'm sure if Mike dyed his hair brown and played the harmonica he could be just like Bob Dylan. They both sing about revolutionary stuff. I doubt it though because he is more likely a relative of Carrot Top than Dylan even though he sounded more like Dylan. I bet he hates that because most solo artists don't enjoy being compared to anyone, even Dylan, but what a compliment! OK he sounds like Dylan slightly, but his dancing is better.

Kettinger's unique lyrics complimented the melodic uplifting beats and the crowd was glued to his every move. That is no bull shit. Three kids behind me had huge grins on their face like they took some drugs and were witnessing a circus act. You could classify the genre as emo hip-hop, rock, with a transient element coming from the lap-top. Transient is a cool word and that is what it was like, but hip-hop too.

The songs were chopped into 45 second segments, just long enough to hold everyone in the bars attention. That feels like a perfect format because everyone is so ADD today, especially me when I drink too much coffee and I wrote the first version of this on too much coffee so I'm sorry if it was too hawing because it seemed that way. Also too wordy, but nevermind.... His lyrics were like poems. He is singing about his own experiences and revolution and the crowd enjoyed it because they saw a musician with a mind and sound of his own. He was really focused up there even when letting lose and dancing. Mick Jagger looks like a rooster who swallowed acid. Mike kind of looked like a bohemian dancing on hot coals for money which was worth the cover. Look at that bohemian dancing like he is on hot coals a person might say to another. What does he have in his shoes someone might ask.

The show and the crowd was entertaining. A lot of friend fans but it was very racially diverse because it is a diverse neighborhood. There are many good Mexican spots by Reggie's to get food, and a gyro place right by there. Gyros are the best drunk food ever invented. I mean they have all the necessary food groups besides for fruit.....no offense to vegans or to lambs, lambs make way more noise than cows is all I'm saying. Know what I mean. Good. Greek mythology pales in comparison to the gyro...what a great invention! If only they had some gyro stands outside during the summer on the streets you wouldn't always be forced to get a bratwurst. Iowa city has grilled cheese and ham stands, why isn't there any gyro stands? Why just in restaurants? I should write a furious letter to somebody. It would be awesome to here Mike play while eating a gyro. He was good and should be encouraged to keep performing because he is a solid. He may be touring soon and he will keep you posted about his upcoming shows. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Everyone should check out Mike Kettingers music and art on his Myspace page at...... its on the article for the solo talent. - Chicago Examiner


Through Smoggy Skies (2007)
In a Hurry to Get Nowhere (2007)
Suckcess, I Guess (2007)
Wooden Submarine (2008)
Plastic, Plastic (2008)
Farewell, Hello (2009)
One Car Garage EP (2010)
Lefty's Place EP (2011)
Powerful Rectangles: Part One (2013)



Mikey's Imaginary Friends began in 2006 as a solo project of Mikey Kettinger. On his own, he recorded six full-length albums--between Tallahasse, Jacksonville Beach, and Chicago. The music of Mikey's Imaginary Friends has been featured in films and on the radio in several cities. Mikey collaborated with different guest musicians for Mikey's Imaginary Friends live shows--making each show entirely unique.

Contemporarily, M.!.F is comprised of Mikey Kettinger and James McMurray, performing live as a duo with periodic additions with harmonicas, vocals, keys, and other colorful instruments.

Mikey's Imaginary Friends creates colorful art music (avan-garde indie pop, post grunge) They are often compared to Radiohead, Modest Mouse, and Pavement.
Their anthemic pop melodies and colorful instrumentals coincide with ironic (albeit honest) lyrics, reminiscent of "true" punk bands.

The music of Mikey's Imaginary Friends is only a portion of their art. Their live performance includes a multi-media digital projection of images and video footage to further entrance the flood of dancers--Mikey included. The energy of their shows is never replicated, but they bring a fresh wave of passion with each new set.